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Recall Effort of Tustin Mayor Amante: Close but no Cigar

The Recall Amante Committee has announced that it was unsuccessful in collecting the minimum number of signatures needed to recall Tustin Mayor Jerry Amante by Tuesday’s deadline.  The committee was several hundred signatures short of the more than 7,000 required. 

“Recalls are difficult at best and as a truly grassroots organization, raising money and sustaining commitments from volunteers to gather signatures over the summer was difficult for us,” said Chuck Horvath, the head of the RecallAmante Committee.  “We are proud of the effort we made coming within several hundred signatures of the threshold.”

According to Horvath, the committee believed the multiple revisions of the recall petition rejected by the city clerk caused the group to miss the Tustin Chili Cookoff which would have allowed the group the opportunity to gather a significant number of signatures early when interest was high.

“If our petition had been approved in time for the Chili Cookoff, which attracted thousands of Tustin residents, we are confident our initiative to recall the Mayor would have made the ballot,” said Horvath.  “Our petition should have been approved by the second draft, not the fifth one.  The city clerk did us no favors.  All you have to do is look to Fullerton in how quickly those recall petitions were approved. We do believe we’ve drawn attention to the bad behavior Mayor Amante exhibits to Tustin taxpayers and residents and none of us will be sad to see him go next year as he is termed out.”

Horvath said he sees his grassroots group’s role continues but this time as a watchdog on Mayor Amante and the council majority’s activities in being fiscally irresponsible.   

“I want to thank those Tustin residents who volunteered, gave money and signed our petitions,” said Horvath.  “I am sorry we fell short.”

We asked about the petitions themselves; Horvath says they’ve been destroyed to protect the identities of those who signed.  Amante has admitted to having a vindictive side.

Our take is recalls are hard.  The group received no support from TUSD officials because of the ongoing legal battle with the city.  Amante proudly proclaimed at the Tustin City Council meeting that “not a single signature was turned in.”

And while that’s true, it’s far from the truth.  Thousands of Tustin residents signed the petition and Amante now carries the shame of being one of two Tustin mayors to ever be the subject of a recall.  Our friends at Our Town Tustin noted that since the recall, Amante has been “nicer,” so if Amante views the failure of the recall effort as a victory for him, he’s be mistaken. If anything, he should make an effort to reach out to residents who opposed him. But judging form the number of no-bid contracts still being doiled out in Tustin, it’s getting harder and harder to buy Amate’s position he is a fiscal conservative (no-bid contracts have a place and a need, but for things like cleaning services, it really should be the lowest bidder).

From the Register’s story on his comments:

“I’ve always maintained that the recall effort was unfair, unjustified and carried out for political revenge,” Amante said. “I’m pleased to report that not one single signature was presented to the city clerk by today’s deadline and there will be no recall election.”

Amante said he looks forward to serving the rest of his term. He is termed out of office in November 2012. 

For those who organized, gave money and the thousands who did sign the petition, November 2012 can’t come soon enough.  Smart of Chuck to protect the names of those who signed.


  1. JeffGallagher JeffGallagher October 5, 2011

    Yes, I did say he appears to have mellowed a bit. My upcoming article will expand on that. All in all, the recall was far from a wasted effort if citizens can, once again, speak their mind at council meetings.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | October 5, 2011

      But will he stay mellow or get more arrogant?

  2. junior junior October 5, 2011

    Far be it from me to say “I told you so.”

    That’s far enough – I TOLD YOU SO !!

  3. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | October 5, 2011

    you did Junior…they came close

  4. B peryl B peryl October 6, 2011

    You dudes expect everyone to believe Chuck got in the region of 6500 signatures and he has conveniently trashed the forms to protect the innocent?

    I’m trying to be generous here, but guys come on! It’s the end of the line when you think readers are stupid. Gees!

    • Jeff Gallagher Jeff Gallagher October 10, 2011

      As did I. I know in Amante and his supporters warped minds, there could not possibly be thousands of citizens in Tustin that would want to recall Hizzoner. But, then, JAmante also thought he had a shot at a political career and that was just an illusion as well.

  5. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | October 7, 2011

    I’ve seen the pages; and with a vindictive mayor, the safest way to protect those who signed to recall him is the destroy the petitions.

    Perhaps you can explain why it took the clerk 5 attempts to approve a petition mostly on formatting changes? I’ll call that what it is; incompetence. Every error should have been noted after the first submission. Two submissions is the norm to get it right; five is almost unheard of. Meanwhile, enjoy watching this fiscal conservative continue to prove he’s not.

    • Jeff Gallagher Jeff Gallagher October 10, 2011

      Uhmmmm, oh! I know! Because Amante now controls the clerks office since he and the council successfully duped the citizens into believing the City Clerk should be appointed rather than elected? Now she owes her job to the goodwill of Amante, his black ops guy Nielsen and his hitman Murray? Do I get a prize?

  6. B peryl B peryl October 7, 2011

    Dan, you’re being duped by Chuck and he’s feeding you a pack of lies or you’re just not keeping real. You had a pic of this lot at the Chili Cook off – they had a booth. That’s without even doing research on their claims. So this claim about some stuffed shirt clerk is bogus!
    Come on man, keep it real.

  7. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski October 8, 2011

    B – I can count and saw the petitions. The clerk rejected the petitions 4 times before accepting them. That is a documented fact you can check for yourself at city hall. If anyone is being duped, it’s you defending this fiscal conservative who isn’t. The notion Jerry is loved and admired in Tustin is also a joke.

    • Jeff Gallagher Jeff Gallagher October 10, 2011

      BPeryl, all you have to do is go to the clerks office and ask. They’ll gladly tell you they kicked back the petitions 4 times. They just won’t tell you why.

  8. B peryl B peryl October 8, 2011

    Dan, there is the initial sigs that kicks off the recall and then they need 6.5k+ sigs to take it to a special election. They did not present ANY signatures of the 6.5+ for the clerk to reject!! So how can the clerk have rejected them 4 or 5 times???

    You have some good stuff on this site dude, don’t throw away your street cred trying to dupe your readers on this shit. Come on man.

  9. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | October 10, 2011

    You are confused on the nature of petitions; it took five tries for the city clerk to make sure there were no mistakes. Two drafts is usually, three unusual, five drafts before approval is unheard of and smacks of incompetance.

    It also doesn’t make sense to turn in thousands of signatures when you’re short of the minimum needed. Chuck did the right thing to protect the identities of those who signed.

Comments are closed.